(BOWIE, Texas) — The Texas deputy shot three times in March while chasing a paroled Colorado inmate suspected in the slaying of Colorado’s prisons chief will be heading back to work this weekend, and he says he is “ready to go back to it.”
On Wednesday, authorities released the dash camera video of the moment 27-year-old Montague County Sheriff’s Deputy James Boyd was shot during a routine road block on March 21 in Bowie, Texas. After months of recovery, Boyd plans to return to work on Sunday.
“I’m ready to go back,” Boyd told ABC News Thursday. “I’m kind of nervous about it but I know I can do the job, so I’m ready to go back to it.”
Boyd was wearing a bulletproof vest when he approached the 1991 black Cadillac allegedly being driven by Evan Spencer Ebel just over two months ago. Boyd said that 10 seconds passed between when he had pulled over the car and when he was shot.
“He was driving in the left-hand lane,” Boyd said. “Something caught my eye about. There was something there.”
Almost as soon as Boyd approached the car, Ebel, a white supremacist gang member who signed his name “Evil Evan,” began firing at him with a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun, police have said. Boyd was shot twice in the chest, and a bullet grazed his forehead above the left eye.
“I was shocked. That’s not what I was out there looking for,” he said. “I was out there looking for proactive stops. This is the most severe incident I’ve encountered.”
The shooting started a 100-mph car chase across two Texas counties during which the car’s occupant continued to shoot at police. The chase ended when the driver was hit by an 18-wheel truck.
Ebel emerged from the wreck and kept shooting at cops until he was cut down by return fire. Ebel was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where he died.
Boyd said that he doesn’t remember much of what transpired between his approach of the vehicle and being in the hospital. He went through months of cognitive rehab before his return to the force this weekend, mainly to work on his stability.
“We worked on my reaction times, my problem-solving skills, and my speech therapy, which is for my listening,” he said.
Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham told ABC News that once he returns to the force, Boyd will be presented with a new vest and an award. He will also be speaking about his experience at a few area schools. Cunningham said that when he heard about what transpired with Boyd, whose family he has known for decades, he was livid.
“It pissed me off, to be real honest,” he said. “Any time you see one of your people hurt [it causes alarm]….We’re such a small department, and close knit.”
Boyd, at first, will be on dispatch when he returns to the police force, as was requested by his rehabilitation team, which felt he should be taking it easy at first.
“We’re going to watch and him and work him back in at his pace,” Cunningham said.
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